Construction Accident And Injury Frequently Asked Questions

Many accident victims are overwhelmed by their injuries, and the thought of a legal case can seem daunting. At Hofmann & Schweitzer, our legal team understands these feelings, and we’ve compiled our thoughts on many common worries here to help you get started finding the answers you need to protect yourself and your family. If you’ve been hurt in a construction, maritime, or railroad accident, browse our FAQs today.

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  • How Can Scaffolding Injuries Be Reduced?

    Construction workers in New York City have a unique struggle to face. They're almost always working up rather than out due to the limited area the city occupies, and the fact that high rise buildings and sky scrapers are common there. Unfortunately, this also means that scaffolding-related injuries are common.

    The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has pointed out that up to 65 percent of the construction industry works on scaffolds. This translates to 60 fatal accidents and 4,500 non-fatal accidents that occur on scaffolding every year. Reducing these injuries can be difficult simply due to the environment that workers like you have to deal with. There's a lot going on all at once and just one slip of the mind or a tiny mistake can result in a fall.

    If you want to reduce the potential of scaffolding-related accidents and injury, you should check out tools like a safety and health program tailored to point out the biggest hazards in scaffolding. This can help you identify potential dangers or hazardous situations before they become an issue. Additionally, you may want to keep one of OSHA's checklists on hand. They provide a different one for different types of scaffolding and list out the dangers specific to that scaffolding type. Being able to physically keep track of issues or things that need to be watched may do wonders for the safety of your construction site.

    Of course, mindfulness also plays a role. Try to instruct your workers to keep an eye on their surroundings at all times. When combined with the above tools, it's possible to reduce the dangers of working on scaffolding.

  • What are the “fatal four” accidents in construction?

    With the rapid rise in construction fatalities in New York over the last decade, you may be like many people who are wondering what can be done to prevent any more tragedies. Researchers with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have determined that over 64 percent of all construction worker deaths are caused by certain accidents that they are terming the “fatal four.” Here is what you need to know about these so you can avoid serious accidents and injuries.

    Studies have shown that over 20 percent of all worker deaths occur on a construction site, and the biggest cause of these fatalities is falls. This problem accounted for over 38 percent of fatalities, meaning that, of the 937 total construction deaths in 2015, 364 were due to falls. These can be due to neglect, equipment failure or other types of accidents.

    The three other causes in the fatal four each account for less than 10 percent of the total deaths. These include workers who are struck by an object, electrocuted, or caught in or between something. The last category includes everything from being crushed in a collapse, compressed by objects and equipment, and caught in material.

    Many of these deaths were due to violations. Some of the most frequently cited issues include scaffolding requirements, fall protection, ladder concerns, hazard communication and machine guarding. This information is intended to educate you about the most common dangers and risks found on construction sites and should not be taken as legal advice.

  • Are violations to blame for construction accidents?

    A top concern for New York lawmakers has been the high rate of accidents on construction sites, which could lead to your serious injury or death. According to Insurance Journal, there have been almost 500 deaths of construction workers in New York City alone over the past decade. Officials have been seeking to lower this number with 18 bills currently attempting to make changes that will lead to safer work environments for construction workers.

    There are many ways that you can be injured as you work on a construction site, but statistics show that almost half of the deaths across the state are were caused by falls. While union construction sites were proven to be safer for you than non-union locations, over 90 percent of sites where fatalities occurred were found to be in violation of the safety standards set forth by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

    Various acts are being proposed in an effort to decrease the number of worker fatalities and increase compliance with safety guidelines. Some of these include additional guardrails, nets and penalties for violations. Experts state that a greater effort needs to be made in training and education in order to provide you with the knowledge you need to operate safely.

    While New York City currently has a 10-hour training program in place, you are only required to take it if you will be stationed on very tall or large buildings. An effort is being made to expand this training for all workers. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.